Alternative Healthcare - Yay/Nay?

I stumbled across this post in the NY Times Bits blog this morning, and felt compelled to share. The headline is overly sensationalistic (worked on me though!), but the approach to care that this researching is trying to achieve, definitely qualifies as unconventional. This seems almost too good to be true, but if Mr. Hesselcan at least gain some traction, it might be a bit of that disruptive innovation we're seeking in the current health care space.


  1. This is the first time I have really heard of individualized health care. But based on what it seems capable of doing, I definitely want to learn more. I understand the reasoning for a large pharmaceutical company to seek a generalized cure that helps everyone, which would be nice. But this article gives the impression that a general cure is much further off than a series of individualized cures.
    It introduces an entirely new discussion where I don't even know where to proceed net. Can such a system be economically feasible? Will doctors seek successful treatments for their patients and mostly disregard the costs? If this co-op is successful, would they actually deny the cure to patients who were not part of the co-op initially? Would individualized cures only work for those who signed up for the co-op anyways? And if you're not part of the co-op, the cure wouldn't work for you? If they're successful, why wouldn't every individual pay $20? What's $20 times 300 million people? $20 times a few billion people?

  2. My first question is this: why make people join a co-op to get access to the cure? That seems entirely too selfish.

    My second question is this: wouldn't this only work for the rich at first? Those first few to get the individualized cure would be paying a couple million of the cure based on the article, and this would hopefully drop to ~$5K in the long-run.

    My third question(s) is(are) this: do they expect the cure to be a lifelong cure? What happens post-cancer eradication? Based on my limited bio-genetics knowledge, couldn't a person develop another cancerous tumor later in life? If so, would they be forced to drop another $5K to get the individualized cure?

    My fourth question (based on the third question(s) is this: how long until insurance companies begin to cover this type of treatment were it ever to be successful?